Can you tell I am in a fall mood lately? This is my favorite time of year. The crisp fall days lend themselves to more comfort food types of dishes. One fall ingredient that I have come to love is the butternut squash.
Now, like many other squash, butternut squash is not your friend when it comes to peeling or cutting it up. However, the work is worth the reward. Butternut squash can be roasted, used in vegetarian tacos, baked with brown sugar, or pureed into a velvety soup. Making the perfect butternut squash soup is not too tricky, but it does take some attention to ensure that it doesn’t completely resemble baby food. My butternut squash soup has spicy chipotle seasoning, roasted squash, and best of all…some smokey bacon.
If you have never cut up one of these before there are lots of tips and demos on Pinterest. I slice off the top and bottom and then start peeling.
Once the squash is peeled, cut it in half and scoop out all of the seeds.
Cut it into small cubes. You will also need two small onions and a couple of garlic cloves for this recipe.
To roast the squash you will need two sheet trays. I spread an even layer of squash on each tray. Then I added the sliced onions and whole, peeled garlic cloves. Season with chipotle chili powder.
You will also add sea salt, cracked black pepper, and olive oil.
Toss everything around so that there is seasoning and oil on all of the squash and onions. Pop this into a 400 degree oven for about 30 minutes.
During the cooking process you should stir the squash around and scrape the pan at least one time. When it is done cooking the onions will be soft and caramelized and the squash will be just starting to get some color. While the veggies roast, you can fry 6 pieces of thick-cut bacon that has been chopped into small pieces. Drain the fat and reserve.
Heat up 4 cups of unsalted chicken or vegetable broth in a large pot. I used the same pot that I cooked the bacon in. I drained the grease, but there was still a little bit of flavor left in the pot. Add in the squash, onions, and garlic. Let the whole thing come to a simmer.
Add in at least half of the reserved bacon. You can use the rest for a garnish. If you aren’t the garnishing type, toss it all in or only use half of the amount.
Remove the pot from the heat and use an immersion blender to start pureeing the soup. When it is starting to become well blended, add a small container of non-fat Greek yogurt. At this point, you can decide what consistency you want your soup to be. If it is looking like baby food, add in water, half a cup at a time until you reach your desired consistency. The picture below is my soup before adding water. I ended up adding 2 cups to get the right texture.
Serve with crumbled bacon and pumpkin seeds. It is smokey, slightly spicy, and the perfect thing to warm you up on a cool fall evening.
- 1 butternut squash, should be about 8-10 cups when cut into pieces
- 2 small onions or 1 large, sliced
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, whole, peeled
- 1 tsp chipotle chili powder
- 1 tsp sea salt
- cracked black pepper to taste
- olive oil - drizzle 1-2 tbsp per sheet tray
- 12 slices of thick-cut applewood smoked bacon (half for in the soup, half for topping)
- 4 cups low sodium/no salt added chicken or vegetable stock
- 5.3 ounce container non-fat Greek yogurt
- 2 cups of water (as needed)
- raw pumpkin seeds (optional for garnish)
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
- Peel, remove seeds, and cut squash into large pieces
- Slice onions
- Peel garlic cloves
- Divide squash, onions, and garlic evenly on two sheet trays
- Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and chipotle powder (dividing between the two trays)
- Drizzle with olive oil and toss everything to coat
- Place in the oven for about 30 minutes, until onions are starting to brown and squash is fork-tender
- Chop bacon into small pieces
- Fry bacon in the pot that you will use for the soup
- Drain on paper towels and reserve
- Drain bacon grease out of the pan, but do not wash or wipe out
- Start heating 4 cups of broth in the pot
- Add the squash, onions, and garlic
- Bring to a simmer
- Remove from heat and add bacon (reserve half of the bacon for garnish)
- Use an immersion blender to completely puree the mixture
- Add the Greek yogurt and check the consistency
- If your soup is too thick, start adding water by the half cup and stirring it in until your soup is the consistency you prefer
- To serve, top with some crumbled bacon and pumpkin seeds